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Load-bearing evaluation of spinal posterior column by measuring surface strain from lumbar pedicles. An in vitro study

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An understanding of the load transfer within spinal posterior column of lumbar spine is necessary to determine the influence of mechanical factors on potential mechanisms of the motion-sparing implant such as artificial intervertebral disc and the dynamic spine stabilization systems. In this study, a new method has been developed for evaluating the load bearing of spinal posterior column by the surface strain of spinal pedicle response to the loading of spinal segment. Six cadaveric lumbar spine segments were biomechanically evaluated between levels L1 and L5 in intact condition and the strain gauges were pasted to an inferior surface of L2 pedicles. Multidirectional flexibility testing used the Panjabi testing protocol; pure moments for the intact condition with overall spinal motion and unconstrained intact moments of +-8 Nm were used for flexion-extension and lateral bending testing. High correlation coefficient (0.967-0.998) indicated a good agreement between the load of spinal segment and the surface strain of pedicle in all loading directions. Principal compressive strain could be observed in flexion direction and tensile strain in extension direction, respectively. In conclusion, the new method seems to be effective for evaluating posterior spinal column loads using pedicles' surface strain data collected during biomechanical testing of spine segments.
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Bibliogr. 19 poz., rys., tab.
  • Department of Anatomy, Guangdong Provincial Medical Biomechanical Key Laboratory, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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